Norwegian Red Cross demands end to Gaza blockade / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian Red Cross demands end to Gaza blockade. Red Cross Norway’s Secretary General Børge Brende accuses Israel for breaking international law. Demanding the immediate suspension of their Gaza blockade on humanitarian grounds, Brende fears for the entire population’s wellbeing. “Gaza’s entire population is being punished for actions they have no responsibility for. This blockade, therefore, is a collective punishment and is a violation of Israel’s duties under international humanitarian law,” he says. Israel is obliged to ensure Gazans’ basic needs are met, as well as adequate healthcare. Before the blockade started, 4,000 different types of goods flowed in to the country. Now, it’s just 80.

red, cross, norway, boerge, brende, israel, gaza, blockade, hamas, palestine, gilad, shalit



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Norwegian Red Cross demands end to Gaza blockade

Published on Monday, 14th June, 2010 at 13:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 14th June 2010 at 13:46.

Red Cross Norway’s Secretary General Børge Brende accuses Israel for breaking international law. Demanding the immediate suspension of their Gaza blockade on humanitarian grounds, Brende fears for the entire population’s wellbeing.

Pine trees lookout near Gaza strip
Pine trees lookout near Gaza strip
Photo: Avishai Teicher/PikiWiki


Dry-up

“Gaza’s entire population is being punished for actions they have no responsibility for. This blockade, therefore, is a collective punishment and is a violation of Israel’s duties under international humanitarian law,” he says.

Israel is obliged to ensure Gazans’ basic needs are met, as well as adequate healthcare. Before the blockade started, 4,000 different types of goods flowed in to the country. Now, it’s just 80.

Supplies to 1.5 million people have been cut. Gaza’s inhabitants are suffering from unemployment, poverty, and war, and the country is suffering from an ailing healthcare system.

Brende believes the only sustainable solution is to lift the blockade. He reminds all countries of their obligation to ensure all types of emergency aid, equipment, and personnel reach the population quickly and unhindered.

“We now insist the Israeli government ends the blockade and ask anyone who has an influence on the situation, including Hamas, to do their very best to help Gaza’s civilian population. Israel's right to address their legitimate security must be balanced against the Palestinians' right to live a normal and dignified life,” he says.

Suffering

Brende’s criticisms are in line with those of the International Red Cross’ Committee (ICRC).

The ICRC says the Palestinian authorities, for their part, must do as much as they can to provide healthcare, maintain an infrastructure, as well as and adequate electricity supply.

Gaza is suffering from an acute electricity crisis, with interruptions of up to seven hours a day, on average. Hospitals rely on generators to cope with the blackouts, according to the ICRC.

There’s no proper sanitation, and pollution of Gaza’s aquifer by some agricultural practices is common. Just 60 percent of the territory’s inhabitants are connected to a sewage collection system.

An over-exploited aquifer, together with the discharge of raw sewage into the Wadi Gaza River, means the lack of proper drinking water puts the inhabitants at high risk of contracting an infectious disease.

Hamas hindrance

Whilst the blockade is now entering its fourth year, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is about to enter his fifth in captivity.

The ICRC is also openly critical to Hamas as it has repeatedly denied requests to visit him.

In a violation of international humanitarian law, Hamas has also refused to allow Galit to contact his family.

“The ICRC again urges those detaining Gilad Shalit to grant him the regular contact with his family to which he is entitled. It also reiterates that those detaining him have an obligation to ensure that he is well treated and that his living conditions are humane and dignified,” it writes in a press statement.




Published on Monday, 14th June, 2010 at 13:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 14th June 2010 at 13:46.

This post has the following tags: red, cross, norway, boerge, brende, israel, gaza, blockade, hamas, palestine, gilad, shalit.





  
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